Words to Use in a Resume to Highlight Your Leadership

By Bridgette Hernandez

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Whether you are an established professional or a fresh graduate looking for your first internship, the resume you submit will make or break your presentation.

HR managers and interviewers often take less than 30 seconds to decide whether or not to invite you to an actual interview, meaning that your resume should be impeccable.

According to statistics, however, 40% of interviewed candidates have said that the interview has affected their view of the company for better or worse.

It’s also worth noting that 50% of candidates apply for 5 jobs or less during their job-hunting activities, citing competition and self-confidence as the main factors for doing so.

This is where leadership potential becomes pivotal, however, and it is what separates average candidates from promising individuals.

Let’s take a look then at several words which should find their way into your resume and cover letter to highlight your leadership skills and determination to become an employee at any given company.

Benefits of Highlighting Leadership

Let’s talk about why you should strive to stick out from the crowd during your employment hunting process. Ethan Dunwill stated recently, “Generic resumes often get sidelined very quickly. Make sure to add a note of originality and ambition to your resume if you want to get hired without too much trouble.”

While it is true that teamwork and collaboration play a big role in the corporate world, it’s also important that you look out for what is best for you while you are unemployed.

Once that is no longer the case, you can steer your thinking toward internal networking and team building as much as possible.

These benefits only scratch the surface of what highlighting your leadership potential can do for you, so make sure to express your skills and goals:

  • More frequent professional development opportunities
  • Higher rate of B2B and in-house networking
  • Better overall income and employment benefits
  • The benefit of doubt in terms of taking sick days or being late
  • Chances to make significant changes in the company

Words to Use in Your Resume

So let’s take a look at specific words you can put in the resume that can help you in your leadership career:

1. Pioneer

A will to change things for the better in a company you are still not employed in can highlight your potential to the interviewer.

Remember to back this word up with a goal or two regarding what you would try to change in the industry just to drive the point home.

2. Breakthrough

Originality is a lost art in the corporate world. However, research and development teams are often created to develop new ideas about industry breakthroughs.

Lean on this word if you want to come off as a creative individual with ideas to share with the company.

3. Potential

There is always “potential” in some aspect of the company’s current product and service portfolio.

Research your future company carefully and find things that can “potentially” be enhanced, upgraded, or changed up entirely for the betterment of the entire brand.

4. Ambition

While similar to the previous word, this word can be used to highlight your own willingness to progress and develop.

Ambitious individuals are often considered leaders, especially if they are social and work well with others.

Pair it with more tangible words which lean on team effort and collaboration to highlight your leadership potential.

5. Teamwork

Many would argue that good teamwork often leads to leadership development.

Individuals who join companies in good spirits and like to work with others will find themselves in managerial and leadership roles very quickly.

Emphasize your willingness to collaborate with colleagues and other stakeholders to increase your employment chances.

6. Modern

The contemporary corporate world requires individuals to be familiar with technological advancements for them to function as employees.

While it may go without saying for some, not everyone is versed in handling a PC, emailing stakeholders, or conducting Skype meetings.

Highlight your technical skills and back them up with “modern” wording to raise your fighting chances.

7. Intuitive

Leadership has to come “intuitively” to an individual. This means that you should mention this word regarding your feelings about being in a leadership position or being asked for a personal opinion.

Intuition is a great card to play, especially for junior candidates and fresh graduates without professional managerial experience.

8. Evolutionary

Constant change and evolution are a part of everyday corporate life. Being stuck in the past while the industry and the corporate market move forward won’t help your company or your chances for prolonged employment.

Make sure to highlight your willingness to adjust to change to give off the impression that you can manage several tasks.

9. High-End

Being familiar with the latest and greatest industry trends, norms, and news can be a great positive on your resume.

Candidates often come to interviews without proper research or market analysis before they are accepted as employees.

Take the initiative and learn about the current state of the industry you want to work in, and your chances will skyrocket as a result.

10. Accountability

No one wants to take the blame for a failed project or a deadline breach – it’s why leaders are so hard to come by.

You should include accountability in your list of skills and cover letter to highlight your willingness to work with others and focus on results instead of assigning blame.

11. Determination

Even though giving up on a project is often impossible due to corporate and networking reasons, teams often fail to bring tangible results to the table.

Determination can be a crucial skill in your leadership resume, which can help you land a managerial position fairly quickly after being hired.

12. Coaching

Coaching colleagues and junior employees is a great way to reinforce your own knowledge of the industry. However, individuals who willingly participate in coaching an inexperienced employee are not easy to come by. This is why you should also annunciate your will to teach others and help them improve their work.

13. Unity

There is no “me” in a leadership-driven resume. You should emphasize your willingness to work as part of a team of like-minded and professional industry experts throughout your application form.

Focus on words that highlight unity and collaboration without sounding too individualistic in doing so.

14. Loyalty

Lastly, loyalty might be the most important characteristic and word to add to your resume. So many people quit their jobs in the first few months of employment due to inexperience or poor expectations.

Highlight your persistence and loyalty to build yourself up as someone with leadership potential in your interviewer’s eyes.

Writing Tools to Lean On

The words we’ve listed may be difficult to combine into tangible, persuasive writing for some people.

So it’s a good idea to use professional writing and editing platforms to get the resume done quickly and easily:


Writing a resume can often take more than a day or two, depending on what job position you apply for. It might be a good idea to use a cloud-based text editor in that case and continue your writing process no matter where you are.


One of the most important aspects of your resume and cover letter is the overall legibility of each document.

Make sure to run your writing through Hemingway before submitting it as official application documentation.


Lastly, it’s good practice to check the spelling and proofreading of your resume and cover letter before submission.

Grammarly is a very fast and lightweight cloud platform designed with grammar checking and editing in mind, making it perfect for your resume writing needs.

Transforming Your Job Application

Depending on how ambitious and forward-thinking you are about your future employment, these words can effectively transform your job application for the better.

Strike a good balance of listing traits and professional experience with leadership words we’ve mentioned previously.

While you may not land a job on the first try, the right employer will undoubtedly consider you a worthy addition to their staff for the foreseeable future.

How Can Words Showcase Your Leadership in Your Resume?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Bridgette Hernandez on Instagram
Bridgette Hernandez
Bridgette Hernandez
Bridgette Hernandez holds a Master in Anthropology and is a frequent blogger and contributor at Supreme Dissertations. She is interested in writing and planning to publish her own book in the nearest future. The texts she writes are informative, based on qualitative research and nevertheless pleasant to read.
  • Denis Scott says:

    Very awesome blog, thank you for sharing this information.

  • Denis Scott says:

    This article is very informative, thank you for sharing this information.

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